Richard Hampton Jenrette was born on April 5, 1929, in Raleigh, N.C. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, where he majored in journalism and edited The Daily Tar Heel, Mr. Jenrette reluctantly apprenticed as an insurance salesman, taking after his father.
Having heard that Harvard Business School was seeking to become more diverse — “affirmative action in 1951 was a Southern white male,” he remarked — he secretly applied to the school without telling his family that he hoped to quit the insurance business.
After graduating with a master’s in business administration and weighing various job offers, he joined Brown Brothers Harriman. He spent two years there as a portfolio manager — one client was Greta Garbo — before leaving at 30 to start his own firm with William H. Donaldson and Dan Lufkin.
When Mr. Donaldson and Mr. Lufkin left the firm, Mr. Jenrette became chief executive and, after surviving a severe downturn in 1974, restored high profitability and sold D.L.J. to Equitable Life for $440 million, twice its book value, in 1985. In 1987 Mr. Jenrette was named chairman of Equitable. Mr. Jenrette retired in 1996.
Mr. Jenrette’s partner, William L. Thompson, died in 2013. He is survived by a nephew and nieces with whom he was close: Dr. Joseph M. Jenrette III, Helen Wooddy, Betty Romberg and Nancy Reynolds.
Richard H. Jenrette is a member of the board of directors of our general partner. Mr. Jenrette was elected to the board of directors of our general partner effective July 14, 2008. Mr. Jenrette is the retired former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Equitable Companies Incorporated and the co-founder and retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Inc. He is also a former Chairman of The Securities Industry Association and has served in the past as a director or trustee of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Advanced Micro Devices Inc., the American Stock Exchange, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Duke Endowment, the University of North Carolina, New York University and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.